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F10 / F11 (2011 - Current)
The new chapter in the highly successful story of the BMW 5 Series Sedan (F10) and wagon (F11)

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  #1  
Old 05-12-2012, 06:12 AM
The X Men The X Men is offline
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2012 535i, 89 octane min requirement

I noticed that the 2012 535i has a min. octane requirement of 89, have anybody compare the difference in performance and gas mileage using 89, 91 and 93? Its only 10-15 cents a gallon difference, but if there is no difference in performance and gas mileage, I might as well use 89 octane.
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  #2  
Old 05-12-2012, 06:33 AM
Jfiore13 Jfiore13 is offline
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I never tried anything less than 93, being you have the turbo as well as me, I'd never put anything less than 93 especially if you plan on keeping your car for awhile
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  #3  
Old 05-12-2012, 06:39 AM
The X Men The X Men is offline
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From my understanding, these new generation of turbo engines can run on lower octane, but whats the difference in performance and gas mileage. Thats the million dollar question.
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Old 05-12-2012, 07:57 AM
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Oh here we go again.


OP, stick with 91-93. These are $60k+ cars. If you truly want to save .15 cents a gallon, BMWs are not the cars to do it with. The N55 is a high performance FI engine with a high compression ratio. Making sure the correct octane is put in, not only helps performance, MPG, but also helps the carbon buildup issues that DI motors suffer
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Old 05-12-2012, 08:57 AM
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Oh here we go again.
This is like a three headed hydra ..... octane, oil change, car wash ...... cut one off another raises it's head
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Old 05-12-2012, 09:07 AM
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Not again.
Will it hurt? No.
Will it decrease performance and fuel mileage? Maybe a little. Are you gonna save money? No.
I fail to see the point in even using it since there isn't a monetary reason for it.
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Old 05-12-2012, 09:16 AM
kc1953 kc1953 is offline
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Where does one get 93? Highest I can get in Cali is 91. And that is what I use.
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Old 05-12-2012, 10:19 AM
OrthoPT OrthoPT is online now
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All you have to use is the minimum recommended by the manufacturer. I'm sure bmw made modifications to the system based on the new gas prices

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  #9  
Old 05-12-2012, 10:22 AM
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Where does one get 93? Highest I can get in Cali is 91. And that is what I use.
States that don't follow Cali-EPA rules

We had 93 up here until a couple years ago.
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  #10  
Old 05-12-2012, 01:50 PM
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Needsdecaf Needsdecaf is offline
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15,000 miles / year @ 20 MPG = 750 gallons of gas.

750 * .25 / gallon = $187 / year saved or $15 / month or 4 Venti's at Starbucks.

That's a pretty pessimistic estimate. If you did something normal, and got normal mileage, say 10,000 @ 25 MPG, you'd use 400 gallons. At $0.25 / difference, that's $100 / year.

$100 / year worth the potential for detonation, loss of some HP and potential fuel mileage? Nope.
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Old 05-12-2012, 06:31 PM
The X Men The X Men is offline
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According to my salesman, BMW change the min requirement of the F10 to 89 octane in 2012. I know that the difference between 89 and 93 is minimal, but at the same time, if there is nothing to gain from going from 89 to 93, the why not just go with 89. Any 2012 535i owners care to chime in please?
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Old 05-12-2012, 06:54 PM
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Trust the salesman to know nothing.....
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  #13  
Old 05-12-2012, 08:09 PM
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Trust the salesman to know nothing.....
[/thread]
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  #14  
Old 05-12-2012, 08:35 PM
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Trust the salesman to know nothing.....
I usually Trust the salesman to know nothing, but I physically check my gas cap and it said 89 AKI octane min.
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  #15  
Old 05-12-2012, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by The X Men View Post
According to my salesman, BMW change the min requirement of the F10 to 89 octane in 2012. I know that the difference between 89 and 93 is minimal, but at the same time, if there is nothing to gain from going from 89 to 93, the why not just go with 89. Any 2012 535i owners care to chime in please?
The higher octane is required if you want to develop all the power you are entitled to. A lower octane fuel will cause the engine to run with a less advanced ignition timing to avoid knock. This will detune the motor and yield less peak power. I am less sure about this second point but I speculated that it might also lower the engine efficiency and your MPG will be less. The irony of course is that the ultimate fuel cost would then be much the same for each circumstance.

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Old 05-13-2012, 07:56 AM
The X Men The X Men is offline
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It seems to me that BMW change the gas door label from 91 AKI min on the 2011 535i to 89 AKI min on the 2012 535i. Does anybody know if they just change the label or did they retune the engine or software to run on lower octane.
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  #17  
Old 05-13-2012, 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by The X Men View Post
It seems to me that BMW change the gas door label from 91 AKI min on the 2011 535i to 89 AKI min on the 2012 535i. Does anybody know if they just change the label or did they retune the engine or software to run on lower octane.
Do your own field test. Use 89 for a couple tanks and record the mileage. Then use 91 and do the same. If the car drives, operates and retains the same MPG, to your satisfaction. You have your answer on which fuel to use for your application.
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Old 05-14-2012, 02:19 PM
Alecop Alecop is offline
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How about 90?

Tell ya what...do one tank 89...next tank 91...averages out to 90...(if you don't run it all the way to empty)...best of both worlds - save a buck and top perfromance
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Old 05-14-2012, 02:23 PM
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Tell ya what...do one tank 89...next tank 91...averages out to 90...(if you don't run it all the way to empty)...best of both worlds - save a buck and top perfromance
Worse yet ..... I've seen guys custom blending at the pump. Half a tank of regular, half a tank of high test
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  #20  
Old 05-14-2012, 02:24 PM
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Worse yet ..... I've seen guys custom blending at the pump. Half a tank of regular, half a tank of high test
There's some cars out there that require 89 and most pumps around where I live don't have 89 at the pump anymore. Only 87 and 91
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  #21  
Old 05-14-2012, 05:05 PM
The X Men The X Men is offline
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I think thats why the 2012 manual say either 89 or 91 ocatne, just in case if there is no 89 in your area.
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  #22  
Old 05-25-2012, 08:30 AM
dunccfp dunccfp is offline
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The car isn't going to knock at an octane of 87 because the engine is programmed to prevent it. If you run at low octane you will retard power at high rpms. Probably not good for the engine if you constantly run the car hard but ok around town I wonder whether the cars computer logs the octane used. Wouldn't surprise me.
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  #23  
Old 05-25-2012, 11:13 AM
gicamuci gicamuci is offline
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Originally Posted by The X Men View Post
It seems to me that BMW change the gas door label from 91 AKI min on the 2011 535i to 89 AKI min on the 2012 535i. Does anybody know if they just change the label or did they retune the engine or software to run on lower octane.
I have a 535 with production date January 25, 2011. On the gas door is 89 minimum. I am in Canada and 87 and 89 are mixed with ethanol (it is written on the pump). I use 91.
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  #24  
Old 05-25-2012, 11:35 AM
The X Men The X Men is offline
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Originally Posted by gicamuci View Post
I have a 535 with production date January 25, 2011. On the gas door is 89 minimum. I am in Canada and 87 and 89 are mixed with ethanol (it is written on the pump). I use 91.
We only have 87, 89 and 93 here. The price difference between 89 and 93 is only 10 cents per gallon. I decided to use 93 instead of 89.
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  #25  
Old 05-25-2012, 01:43 PM
Imothph Imothph is offline
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Originally Posted by The X Men View Post
According to my salesman, BMW change the min requirement of the F10 to 89 octane in 2012.
The key phrase there is "minimum requirement". That means that technically the BMW engine will run on the stuff, but it doesn’t mean it should. 89 octane is the lowest grade of fuel the engine computer can work with and still make the car go – not exactly a glowing recommendation.

"Minimum Requirements" are the absolute lowest tolerance, but there are about a million things that nobody in their right mind would accept at such a level, even if it’s technically “ok”. Your BMW is not a “minimum requirement” car - regardless of debatable efficiency, cleanliness or performance, you use higher grade fuel IMHO.

As a side note, I use the highest grade fuel in everything I own and on those rare occasions I haven’t, it’s been noticeable – possibly 100% perception only….but perception is 9/10ths of reality.
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